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Black Lives Matter in this authentic novel

Author: Angie Thomas

A united community in a predominantly Black neighborhood is center stage in this poignant novel about a young girl who must figure out how to straddle both her realities while fighting systemic racism.

Angie Thomas has expertly taken us on a journey through the mindset of her protagonist. There are two Starrs in Thomas’s first novel, The Hate U Give. While she lives in Garden Heights, a predominantly poor Black neighborhood, she attends a private high school in a predominantly white one. Surrounded by privilege by day, at night she comes home to police sirens, drive-by shootings, and hardened criminals. But her love for her community is front and center in this beautifully written young adult novel.

Her two worlds are on a collision course after she witnesses the murder of her Black childhood best friend at the hands of a white police officer. Therefore, Starr must set aside beliefs about her community and systemic racism to speak her truth and recount the events that lead to the shooting to a grand jury. The author delicately weaves a Black Lives Matter protest that her parents don’t want her to attend.

Starr is a confident, popular, and athletic teenager who has all the makings of a raging hero. Although, she possesses a keen sense of just and unjust, it sometimes pits home Starr against school Starr. Consequently fighting system racism along the way.

The story is a riveting page turner. It’s got dynamic and sympathetic characters, whom you might want to thrash a time or two. Excellent read.

For more on social justice, read my post on anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

The Hate U Give Book Cover

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